The past year has been an incredible adventure. Daniel and I moved to Munich on January 8, 2013, but that day feels like a world ago because so much has happened since then. Moving to a new continent has definitely presented its challenges, but I wanted to revisit some of our triumphs and seized opportunities, large and small.
Finding a Home
After five weeks, contacting 130 landlords/agents, applying for the 7 apartments we were able to view, being rejected for every imaginable reason, and getting an extension of our corporate housing arrangement, Daniel and I finally found a place to live. At that point, I’d have settled for any form of reasonable shelter somewhere near Munich, but we were incredibly fortunate to land a great apartment in a fantastic neighborhood in the city center.
Locating Palatable Coffee
This one only took four months. Hamburgers, however, would come seven months later.
Building a Community
I have met so many wonderful people this year. It feels a bit like cheating since there’s a vibrant English-speaking community in Munich, brought together by the shared experience of making a home in a new place. Those that have been here longer reach out to the newcomers, and then you’re in. I met my next-door neighbor (ironically enough, through the internet) who introduced me to friends, who then invited me to their own events where I met others who were equally inviting. After only a year, I feel very fortunate to have friends to call on, and who call on me.
Our Anniversary in Vienna
Due to the thoughtfulness of said friends, Daniel and I spent our anniversary weekend in Vienna, touring the old city and drinking coffee.
Two Weeks in Northern Italy
This was the trip of a lifetime. My friend Laura graciously hosted, fed, toured, and entertained Daniel and me for two weeks. I’m sure we were driving her and Stefano crazy by the end, but they gave no hint.
In a city that could be defined by its serenity, safety, and orderliness, Oktoberfest presents a seemingly unthinkable level of chaos. Munich receives about twelve million tourists every year. Half of those (more than four times the city’s population!) come during the two-and-a-half weeks of Oktoberfest with the singular goal of maximum alcohol consumption. Throw in carnival rides, live oompah bands, and funny costumes and you’ve got a party.
Cracking up at Munich’s Scandalous Ads
Advent and the Christmas Season
I can’t imagine that there’s a place with a more magical Christmas than Bavaria.